It was 26–almost 27 years ago that I miscarried. I remember the sac and such. I was told I wasn’t pregnant anymore, yet two weeks later I still had morning sickness and such. Then that doctor said, “It’s psychological and was going to send me to a “counselor”.” After ranting for about 20 minutes about how having a kid is like riding a bicycle, they decided to do an ultrasound and another pregnancy test.
When the test came back “positive” my doctor was baffled. Then they did the ultrasound. Sure enough, there was another sac with a fetus inside of it–with a heartbeat. That was my son, Brian. The doctor looked at me and said, “It is very rare to lose one and keep the other but it has happened before. Most of the time these pregnancies are difficult and still result in loss…” and I stopped listening at that point.
The pregnancy was difficult. I spent the last few weeks in bed. Brian was 6 lbs. 8 ounces when he was born and was still estimated to have been born 6-8 weeks early. He had reflux and had to sleep at an angle after he almost died at 2 months. His stomach valve wasn’t fully developed and this caused his milk to go to this lungs when he spit up.
To this day I wonder what his twin might have been like. Boy? Girl? Red haired and blue-eyed like him, or more like me–dark hair and green/hazel eyes…I can say this, no child replaces another. I still mourn the loss of the one. It is very insensitive to tell a mother who has lost a baby via miscarriage or stillbirth anything such as “Well at least you can have another one.” or as in my case, “You don’t need any more children anyway. You already have one.” I never spoke to that “friend” again either.
I also want to add losing a child does not mean one is not a mother or a father. They still are. They still grieve and mourn and go through the gamut of emotions that go with any death of a loved one. The fathers go through the experience as well so it is not fair to expect them to be any less traumatized or hurt. Guys, if you have a male friend whose girlfriend or wife went through this, let him grieve and listen. At least then you are being a true friend to him. The same goes for the women who have never experienced it. There is NO right thing to say, but just listening helps. So do hugs and allowing the person their grief. This “being stoic” thing is bullshit. Don’t expect that. We are human. We feel. We cry. We mourn. Deal with it or just keep quiet.
We do make our way back eventually, in our own time and in our own way.